Houston Hospice is opening up its inpatient unit for use by other providers.
Other hospices will soon be able to admit patients to the company’s unit in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. They will be able to coordinate with Houston Hospice and deliver General Inpatient Care (GIP), helping to avoid hospital readmissions.
“Many of the hospices in the greater Houston area do not provide one of the most important hospice levels of care – general inpatient care,” Rana S. McClelland, president and CEO of Houston Hospice, told Hospice News in an email. “As the region’s largest nonprofit hospice – with a stand-alone inpatient unit – it only helps us to further serve the community by making space available for patients and families who need this level of care.”
Houston Hospice, established in 1980, provides care throughout 13 counties in southeastern Texas.
The 33-bed unit features 24/7 visiting hours for families, a chapel, historic gardens and accommodations for pets. Providers that wish to use the facility will contract with Houston Hospice at a cost, though the organization is still working out the details of those arrangements, McClelland indicated.
Demographic tailwinds are fueling a burgeoning hospice market in Texas. Seniors 65 and older represent 13.4% of the state’s population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2030, an additional 5.2 million residents of the Lone Star State are expected to enter that age group, Elder Options of Texas reported.
About 143,284 Medicare decedents elected the hospice benefit in 2021, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the third highest in the nation. Only California and Florida exceeded that number at 156,000 and 154,521, respectively.
The opportunity to provide general inpatient care in a dedicated hospice unit will foster better quality of care than some of the alternatives, according to McClelland.
“When a hospice provider must contract for general inpatient care with a hospital or nursing home, expertise and collaboration often fall short, which is far from ideal,” she said. “That’s not the case with the Houston Hospice inpatient unit where our priority is serving the family unit and ensuring the best experience possible as they navigate their end-of-life journey.”